Sunday, July 30, 2017

STRAIGHT TO HELL

Obituary- s/t LP (Relapse)
First Pressing, 2017
Black Vinyl /3700

This marks only the second piece of Obituary vinyl to hit my collection, though there's quite a few more releases of theirs that I wish I had. In fact I would argue that despite what seems like more common opinion amongst the Metal elite, there's not single LP of theirs that isn't a banger. Their last album and Relapse debate "Inked In Blood" wasn't received very well but I loved it, and had I been able to secure a copy at a reasonable price (couldn't find one in any stores for under $60, ridiculous), I would have snapped it up. Thankfully I recently stumbled across this copy of their latest work in my local record store for a totally acceptable price tag. From what I can see online and in Death Metal circles, it seems that it has hit all the right marks with the wider community, garnering many positive reviews, and I'd say that there isn't a single snoozer on here. As with everything that they've done, the whole album is punctuated with that signature mutant groove and Tardy's hellish vocals, possibly the most identifiable in Death Metal? Nine new tracks here and a re-release of the title track from the "Ten Thousand Ways To Die" live record that they put out last year. The artwork is a bit lacking if you ask me, certainly a departure from the usual work anyway, but the jacket is pressed in a foil stamp and the cover is embossed and raised a little, so that's cool I guess. Regardless, the music is worth the purchase price.

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Saturday, July 22, 2017

SPREADING THE DISEASE

Kommand- Demo Tape
First Edition, 2017

Easily the best demo that I've heard since the second Obscure Burial demo from a couple years ago, and a possible contender for my favourite outright release of this year. I haven't listened to any record or tape by any other new band this year more than this debut demo tape from LA's Kommand. Three simple, punchy, relatively short bursts of Death Metal that take cues from stuff like Mexican overlords Cenotaph (earlier) and some of the early 90's Finnish masters. An excellent, raw recording punctuates heavy riffs, tremolo picking, plenty of double kicking and blast beats. Themed 100% lyrically from the point of view of, and visually around Islamic extremism and the caliphate, it's a unique approach for any extreme band, but the thought does cross my mind about how they will be able to continue with the theme if they manage to move beyond this demo stage and release an extended collection of songs. Many of these great demo bands never do get beyond this stage, but I really hope that they do.

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Thursday, July 20, 2017

RAMEN BLOG

In the interest of total self promotion, please follow this link to my new Ramen blog. I'll always be a record collector, but it's getting harder and harder these days to maintain this blog as regularly as I used to. The new thing is just another way to keep my mind active at a more affordable rate.

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Friday, July 7, 2017

RATHER BE DEAD

Necrot- "Blood Offerings" LP (Tank Crimes)
First Pressing, 2017
Gold Vinyl /1000

ON THE BRIGHTSIDE I recently picked up the debut album from Oakland's Necrot. Following three well received demo tapes and an LP to compile them last year, they've gone and unleashed this catchy as hell American Death Metal opus. Obvious cues would be the less technical stuff- Death, Autopsy etc. I've read many comparisons to Bolt Thrower too. Groovy, thick metal with a pretty slick recording.

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FUCK PHOTOBUCKET

So for more than five years now I have been paying to host most of the photos on this blog on the photobucket website. That was until earlier this year when they decided to increase their yearly fees by more than 1000%. Now they want more than $500au PER YEAR for me to host my photos for third party viewing on this blog. This wasn't of initial concern to me as they were still allowing existing hosted photos to display on third party sites like this blog, I just couldn't upload any new photos. I just stopped paying and started using Flckr instead. In the last few days though, photobucket updated their terms to state that they would no longer allow any 'third party hosting' to any users not paying this $500 fee. So now just about every photo on this blog before this year is rendered absolutely useless. They are essentially holding nine years of this blogs content hostage.
It seems that I'm not the only annoyed user, with a quick google search it is apparent that the distaste is quite widespread with even the BBC reporting on it. So fuck these extortionists, fuck photobucket. I won't be paying the fee and I doubt I will have time to re upload photos for nine years of posts to a competing hosting site, so I do apologise for the lack or viewable content on this blog moving forward. With just shy of nine years posting content on here, and a clear and obvious slow-down in activity over the last couple of years on my behalf (life, mortgage etc) maybe this latest development will be the nail in the coffin for this blog. I always imagined making it to ten years and then pulling the pin anyway. Maybe we will see.

Monday, June 19, 2017

JUST CAN'T HATE ENOUGH

Sheer Terror- "Just Can't Hate Enough" LP (Blackout!)
Reissue, 2016
Black Vinyl /?? 

I've wanted a copy of this record for myself for years and years but original copies have always just seemed to elude me for this reason or that (and they also sell for quite a lot on discogs and the like). It was finally repressed lat year by Blackout records with some added live tracks. Overall package is a bit different to the original, but the title track is one of the greatest NYHC songs of all time and it's included here so it's all cool with me.

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Thursday, June 15, 2017

THE RAGE OF THE CITY

NYC Headhunters- "The Rage Of The City" 7" (Painkiller)
First Pressing, 2016
Green Vinyl /200

Though I only secured this earlier this year, the debut record from NYC Headhunters made my best of list for 2016 and it's seriously fucking good. As you'd expect, just straight forward, loud and burly NY inspired hardcore from Boston. Possibly one of my most spun records in recent times.

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Tuesday, June 6, 2017

IMPLODE

Shackles "Lifeless Paradise" 10" (Resist)
First Pressing, 2017
Black and Red Vinyl /100

I've covered Shackles and their progression as a band pretty extensively on this blog over the years and it's been interesting to track that gradual mutation in that time. Over the years their focus has certainly sharpened and they've become a solid example of a hard working Australian Hardcore band. And with that I'd say that this latest 10" EP of theirs could be their largest progression between releases. They're still tapping the tried and true blast laden heavy hardcore method, but coupled with an obviously (and likely deliberately) less polished recording effort, this could probably be interpreted as their most 'punk' effort to date.

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Friday, May 12, 2017

RIGHT AND REASON

Shipwrecked- 2nd s/t 7" (PST)
First Pressing, 2017
Clear Vinyl /??

Via a limited release schedule over the course of the last 13 years, Norway's Shipwrecked have managed to build a pretty enviable following amongst the Hardcore underground and elite. I thought they were all but done until they announced a single show in the US this year and this EP to accompany it. Three new trax of what anyone familiar with any of their previous material would hope for- hard boiled Hardcore informed pretty heavily by Boston '82. Arguably, they've been setting the standard for what a modern band of this type should be playing for years now and this record does nothing to detract from that.

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Sunday, May 7, 2017

DON'T COME BACK

Chest Pain- "Weltschmerz" LP (To Live A Lie)
First Pressing, 2014
Black Vinyl /500

A record that I have been sitting on for a few years now, the first LP from Austin's Chest Pain. Pretty technically proficient and accurate Slap A Ham worship stuff with all of the modern approach and touches. Really these guys are a band that I should be massively fond of, and I bought this record based mostly on that idea, but I must say that I can't really get into it as much as I do some of their contemporaries (Vile Intent springs to mind most). I think it may be the recording presented here, and most notably the ugly reverb on the vocals, it just hasn't stuck with me as much as I would have expected it to.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

GLORIOUS DEAD LAY UNDER WAVES

Battle Ruins- 2017 Promo Cassette
First Edition, 2017

New three track promo cassette from Boston Oi!/Viking Metal/Hardcore behemoth, Battle Ruins. Exceptional presentation from this band as always; three ugly, surly battle hymns, that revolve around a mid tempo stomp with plenty of hooks and B. Radians signature raspy vocals. I read somewhere late last year that this thing is to be regarded as a promo to an upcoming 7".
Released recently at their second and (apparently) final show in Boston, a handful were secured by the ever authoritative Rain On The Parade Records for sale to the Australian public only. Sold out everywhere.

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Friday, April 28, 2017

UNRAVELED

Spine- "Time Has Gone" LP (Bad Teeth)
First Pressing, 2014
Black Vinyl /?? 

More of the excellent same from Chicago's/Kansas City's Spine. The recording probably isn't slick as the EP that followed this one, but it doesn't matter. A new album this year apparently.

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Saturday, April 22, 2017

NEVER GET IT BACK

Boston Strangler- Demo, Single Sided 12" (Boston Strangler)
First Pressing, 2017
Black Vinyl /?? 

New vinyl pressing of the demo tape from Boston Strangler.

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Saturday, April 8, 2017

SPLINTER THE CROSS

Sentient Horror- "Ungodly Forms" LP (Testimony/Redefining Darkness)
First Pressing, 2017
Black Vinyl /300

Highly accurate "Left Hand Path" worship from New Jersey. Possibly the strongest take on the style that I've heard in a while. All the hallmarks of the genre are present: the mandatory sunlight guitar sound, presented in a tasteful style, not overdone like it has been many times in recent history, chunky riffing layered over D-beat that interplays with tremolo picking during up tempo moments, and a vocalist who's range sits in those mid areas just like L.G's. There's even a few occasions when the singer here attempts those half high screams in that half hearted attempt like L.G. did/does. And while it's hardly breaking any boundaries, thankfully the songs are well written and really catchy/heavy. Thoroughly surprised by how much I've enjoyed this.

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Saturday, April 1, 2017

NOT A LOT GETS FORGIVEN

Mindsnare- 
- "The Holy Bull Rides Fast" 7",  Clear Vinyl with Black Smudge /200 (Resist)
- "Into Infinity" 7",  Clear Vinyl with Red Smudge /200 (Resist)
- "Unholy Rush" LP, Swamp Green Vinyl /100 (Resist)
First Pressings, 2017

In the grand context of Australian Hardcore, the following post matter would probably have had to come about under the most extraordinary of circumstances. Mindsnare would easily be this country's most respected Hardcore band, with a strong legacy that extends across more than twenty years at this point. It's been ten years though since their most recent LP proper (with only a split with Ringworm surfacing nearly seven years ago), and since that split at least, they have been very, very quiet, only opting for limited live appearances every twelve months or so. I was always confident that a new album would surface at some point though, I suppose it was just a matter of time...

A little more than a month ago, Resist Records announced the immediate release of a set of twin 7"s from the band. No pre orders or anything, just ready to order right away. One could see that the Daniel Shaw artwork for each EP was part of a larger piece, which was probably a clue to something bigger for most people. Each EP contained two original tracks and a cover song on each. One by Motorhead and one by Destruction. These EP's went out to their respective orderers within the next week or so and then gradually I started seeing these Mindsnare photo hashtags coming up everywhere, some of which containing photos of some fucking 'bonus' new LP along with these two new 7"s. I missed out on this and at first I thought it was some sort of gag as there was no information anywhere about it. The band was silent. The record label was silent. You could see the complete artwork on this LP, along with what looked like a bonus slip containing some alternate artwork. Over the course of the next three weeks or so there just seemed to be a lot of talk amongst people and I think the general consensus was that the wider release of the LP would be announced at some point before an upcoming tour they had planned in support of the two EP's. I personally thought that they would announce it on the eve of the first show of the tour and then just have them for sale at these shows.

And then around a week ago, in unison, the band and the label announced the wider release of their new album with a big 'surprise' (cheesy?) on their respective online portals, available for order immediately, again, no pre orders. They also announced that various bricks & mortar stores around the country had copies available for immediate sale. Colour ways and pressing details were released also- 50 went out with that alternate cover with the EP's, 200 on 'beer and bone' and 150 on black for record stores, and 100 on 'swamp green' for online ordering direct from Resist.  The four original tracks that were on the EP's would also see release on this new album along with an additional eight originals and a cover of The Accused. My roommate whom was out at the time went straight to our local record store and secured himself a copy of the b&b. I opted to order the more limited variant on the labels site. But then the fucking website crashed for unknown reasons, nobody could order anything, and nobody knew when the site would be back up. Good thing it was on a Friday night, as I was up past midnight when the site went back up and I secured my copy of the pressing of 100 copies...

You couldn't write this shit.

The music? Absoloutely Exceptional. The last LP, "Disturb The Hive" wasn't received well for various reasons. The production was unfitting (very Thrash Metal) and Matt's vocals were totally lost in the mix. The band have stated that they're aware of how unpopular that album is, but it certainly has it's high points, and had it been released by any other band, I think it would have likely been huge. It just didn't meet the very high expectations set by the album before it, "The Death". It seems though that's it's safe to say that the band have made a conscious effort to nail down the recording qualities with this new one. Recorded by Jason Fuller (Bloodduster among many other greats) at Goatsound in Melbourne, mixed by Kurt Ballou at his studio and mastered by Brad Boatright at Audioseige. It's loud and heavy, Matt's vocals are a feature, Gordy further solidifies that he is just about Australia's best drummer, and Beltsy and Nigel come together to produce some of their most crushing riffs in years. Like all of their best material, with "Unholy Rush" the band manage to masterfully combine a solid Metallic Hardcore base with a varied mix of Thrash, Grindcore and Mosh without making it sound directionless or tacky. There really is no other band in the world that creates a sound like these guys and like I have said quite a few times before, it has always confused me as to why they haven't picked up a wider international following. Maybe they will now.

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